- Why do you think Jesus gave the disciples power to heal the sick?
- Why does Jesus often link the coming of the Kingdom of God with healing the physical body? (See also: Matthew 11:1-6)
- What do you think this means for Christians today?
- How is our ministry contributing, and what else could we do?
Tag Archives: healing
As a group, read the following Scriptures and answer the questions below.
o John 11:1-44 (entire chapter)
1. Why do you think Jesus waited before going to Mary and Martha?
2. Have you ever had a time in your life when you desperately prayed for God’s help but God chose not to give you what you asked for?
3. What do you think God’s purposes are in these situations?
Now, think back through the story, and put yourself in the role of Lazarus. Instead of focusing on Lazarus’ physical sickness and death, though, now focus on your spiritual sickness and death before you became a Christian.
4. How is the story about Lazarus’ resurrection like your own story of spiritual rebirth?
5. What insights does this give you about the story?
Facilitator Notes for Large Group Debrief
o Like Lazarus, we were dead, but our sickness which led to death was spiritual rather than physical.
o Jesus waited until we were aware of our deadness before He brought us into life everlasting.
o Releasing Lazarus from the grave was a visual representation of what Jesus was about to do for all of us.
o When Jesus rolled away the stone from His own grave in the garden, He rolled away the stone for all of humanity. Death could no longer hold us!
o The stone that blocked our way to new life has been rolled away.
o Jesus calls our name and invites us to come out to enjoy new life with Him.
o Unfortunately, many of us chose to stay in our tombs rather than respond to Jesus’ call for us to come out.
o As long as we stayed in our graves, we were still dead in our sin.
o But for those of us who responded when Jesus called our names, we have new life!
o But that’s not the entire story of how we got free, because even though we had been freed from the power of death, we, like Lazarus, were still bound in our grave clothes.
o Satan had wrapped us up pretty tightly.
o Many of us emerged from the grave, but we weren’t truly free yet. The sins and scars of our past still held us. We wanted to be free to enjoy the life that Jesus promised, but we didn’t know how to separate ourselves from those grave clothes.
o Some of us are still bound today. We still don’t know how to get free of our past. What we did or what was done to us prevents us from experiencing the full joy of our new freedom.
o Like the burial custom practiced in Lazarus’ time, Satan tied our hands and our feet, wrapped us in grave clothes and veiled our faces.
o He tied our hands, because it’s with our hands that we do God’s WORK.
o He tied our feet, because it’s with our feet that we WALK with the Lord.
o He veiled our faces, because it’s with our faces that we bear WITNESS to God’s glory.*
o Many of us are alive in Christ but still tied up in sin, guilt, shame, pain, or ignorance that keeps us from our WORK, our WALK and our WITNESS with and for God.
o It sometimes takes a long time to recognize our freedom, and we need the help of the Church to get free. We need our brothers and sisters in Christ to do for us what those who witnessed Lazarus raised from the dead did for Lazarus. We need our brothers and sisters to “Take off (our) grave clothes and let (us) go!”
o We can’t get free ourselves. This is part of the role of the Church.
o So, as we see other brothers and sisters emerge from the grave, we need to step forward and help them in whatever way God gives us. We need to get them free from their grave clothes.
o And if you are still bound and don’t know how to get free, don’t try to do it alone. Turn to your brothers and sisters in Christ and to Christian professionals who can help you to cut those bounds and walk free in Christ.
* There are at least three important veils in Scripture. Moses wore his veil to hide God’s glory when he came down from the mountain, because the sinful people couldn’t stand the bright holiness of God. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom because all could now have access to a holy God through Christ. Satan wants to keep us veiled like Lazarus, but it’s no longer necessary to hide God’s glory.
This object lesson teaches what it means when God calls us to be the salt of the earth.
- Matthew 5:13
- 2 Kings 2:20-22
- Salt that you can pass around for the kids to taste
- Small, draw-string bag with salt in it
- Salt shaker
- Piece of meat (fish, chicken or beef – real or fake – I used Play Doh) with salt on it
- Medicine bottle filled with salt
- Bottle of water
- Put salt in the draw-string bag.
- Salt the piece of meat on all sides.
- Fill the medicine bottle with salt.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth.” (Have volunteer read Matthew 5:13. Then begin passing the salt around, and encourage everyone to taste some.)
- “Salt was very important during the time that Jesus was here on earth.”
- “Roman soldiers often received part of their pay in salt.” (Set out bag with salt in it. As an alternative, you can put all these props into a bag and let a volunteer try to figure out which prop you want put out each time. You can coach them if they run into trouble.)
- “In fact, the word we use for what you get paid for working is ‘salary,’ and ‘salary’ actually means ‘salt money.’”
- “Salt was also important for making things taste better, just like it is today.” (Set out the salt shaker.)
- “What would potato chips or French fries be like without salt?”
- “When Jesus compares us to salt, He is saying that we should make things better.”
- “We should make life better for others. They should enjoy being around us.”
- “But Jesus asks, ‘What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?’”
- “He says that it will be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
- “The Romans use to make roads out of bad salt that wasn’t salty anymore.”
- “In fact, one of their greatest military roads was the Via Salaria, or the Salt Road.”
- “Jesus was saying that if we aren’t salty any more as Christians, we are no longer making life better for those around us.”
- “And so He asks, if you aren’t making things better anymore, what good are we?”
- “He doesn’t have any use for us here on earth unless we are going to make things better, because that is the work He has for us to do.”
- “But salt was good for more than just salaries and making things taste better.”
- “People also used it to preserve meat.” (Set out piece of meat with salt on it.)
- “You see, they didn’t have refrigerators back then, so if they wanted their fish, chicken or their beef to not go bad, they covered it with salt.”
- “The salt kept bacteria from growing on the meat and spoiling it, and it kept the flies from laying their eggs in it.”
- “When Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should be preserving (which means saving) the earth.”
- “We should be saving those who are lost and headed towards Hell.”
- “Without us, the bacteria of sin would grow unchallenged in the hearts of those who don’t know Jesus, and Satan, who is also known as Beelzebub (or the Lord of the Flies) would plant evil in their hearts.”
- “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
- “Salt also heals.” (Set out medicine bottle filled with salt.)
- “When you get a sore throat, one of the best things you can do for it is to gargle with hot, salty water.”
- “Elijah used salt in 2 Kings 2:20-22 to heal poisonous water.”
- “When Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should bring healing to those who are sick with sin.”
- “But that’s not all that salt can do.”
- “Salt also creates thirst.” (Set out a bottle of water.)
- “If you eat something salty, you immediately want something to drink.”
- “When you buy popcorn at the movies, I bet you always get a drink, because you know that you are going to be thirsty after eating it.”
- “When Jesus is saying that we are the salt of the earth, He is saying that we should create thirst for the living water (which is the Holy Spirit) that God offers to every person on earth.”
- “When people see how much God has blessed us, they will want to know Jesus as their Savior, too.”
- “So, salt may have seemed pretty ordinary to you, but now I hope you see how important it is.”
- “Salt has value. It makes things better; it saves; it heals and it creates thirst.”
- “That’s what we should do as followers of Jesus.”